With about a month until the event, the Bellator 274 card is heating up. The welterweight main event is already locked in, pitting fourth-ranked Neiman Gracie against rising star Logan Storley, who is ranked fifth amongst his welterweight counterparts. Bellator vets Georgi Karakhanyan and Adam Piccolotti will certainly provide a barn burner for the lightweight division, but Scott Coker seems to have placed great emphasis on his young guns—the “next ones up”, if you will, for the February 19th event. Here are five undefeated fighters who will look to extend their winning ways at Bellator 274.
Justin Montalvo made his professional debut just two years ago. Prior to his turn to pro competition, the 25-year-old Montalvo put together a respectable 4-2 amateur record. The 6’0” lightweight from New York earned finishes in his first three professional fights, knocking off Douglas LoBasso, Charlie Radtke, and Jake Methric.
Montalvo would make his Bellator debut at Bellator 272 against Jacob Bohn in a preliminary bout. Earning a unanimous decision victory, Montalvo would climb to a professional record of 4-0 and will square off against Corey Samuels, once again in preliminary action.
Jaylon Bates has quite the Bellator resume. The 24-year-old southpaw fighter from Portland, Oregon, made his professional debut against Joe Supino at Bellator 251. Prior to this bout, Bates had strung together an impressive 9-0 amateur record. Considering this, the bantamweight prospect was a huge favorite coming into the bout. Bates would go on to win his professional debut via unanimous decision.
Fighting out of American Top Team Portland, Bates would make his sophomore Bellator appearance when he squared off with Jeffrey Glossner at Bellator 256. Bates would secure his first career finish after locking up a guillotine choke in the second round. Two months later, Bates would return to action and submit Cody Matthews at Bellator 261. “New Breed” would end 2021 on a high note and put the bantamweight division on notice when he would secure his third straight submission victory at Bellator 268, knocking off Raphael Montini.
Bates will do battle with Chris Disonell (6-4) during the Bellator 274 preliminary card. Disonell last competed at CES 63 in August 2021, where he earned a TKO victory over Will Smith.
If the Bellator heavyweight division needs anything—it is fresh blood. This is what Davion Franklin has to offer. Finishing J.W. Kiser in his pro debut, Franklin would be pushed to his limits at Bellator 246 when he shared the cage with Ras Hylton. Franklin, showing obvious cardio issues, bested his opponent in their fifteen-minute fight. The JacksonWink heavyweight would return to action against Tyler King at Bellator 259. Franklin would score a highlight reel first-round finish over King, knocking him out with two thunderous right hands.
In his last outing, Franklin faced fellow undefeated prospect Everett Cummings at Bellator 264 in an intriguing matchup. Utilizing aggressive forward pressure, Franklin would hunt down Cummings and score a 21-second knockout victory. In the biggest fight of his career, “All Day” will challenge Said Sowma for a move in the rankings at Bellator 274.
Keri Taylor-Melendez can make a huge statement in her bout against Veta Arteaga at Bellator 274. Taylor-Melendez has made quite the splash into the women’s flyweight division since her debut at Bellator 142 in 2015.
Defeating Hadley Griffith to earn her first professional victory, Taylor-Melendez would finish Sheila Padilla at Bellator 165. In her 2018 campaign, the Skrap Pack-trained flyweight would earn victories over Tiani Valle and Dakota Zimmerman. Taylor-Melendez would then earn a unanimous decision victory over Mandy Polk in 2019 and would close out her first Bellator contract with an exclamation point when she submitted Emilee King at Bellator 252 in November 2020.
Taylor-Melendez would re-sign with Bellator, and with the start of her new contract comes a step up in competition in that of Veta Arteaga. A veteran of 10 fights, Arteaga would challenge for the flyweight strap in 2019. With the #6 next to Arteaga’s name, Taylor-Melendez could jump into the rankings with a win over the vet.
Hailing from Russia and fighting out of Sanford MMA under Henri Hooft, Mukhamed Berkhamov made his pro debut in 2013. Berkhamov would go on to pick up three wins that year and sit out from competition in 2014. In 2015, Berkhamov would fight five times, earning four submission victories and a unanimous decision victory.
From 2016-2019, Berkhamov would compete five times for the promotion ACB. The Russian southpaw would go on to dominate Stanislav Vlasenko via first-round knockout at ACB 38. Adding to his winning ways, Berkhamov would score back-to-back submission victories over Jesse Taylor and Sharaf Davlatmurodov. These victories would set up Berkhamov for a welterweight title shot. At ACB 67, Berkhamov would knock out Brett Cooper in the second round to become the ACB Welterweight Champion.
“Cherkes” would make his Bellator debut against the highly touted Jaleel Willis at Bellator 268. Berkhamov would take less than a round to submit the surging Willis and cement himself as a serious contender within the welterweight division. At Bellator 274, Berkhamov will face his toughest opponent yet in eighth-ranked former champion Andrey Koreshkov (24-4).
Who shines brightest among these undefeated stars at Bellator 274?